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The Voice of Ex-Slaves singing | Slave Songs

John Brooks John Brooks

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Published 6 months ago

Its unfortunate that the "Slave Narratives" project was an after thought and not treated with historical importance when undertaken. One of these two songs, for example, most likely was not transcribed correctly and the interviewer's did not seem to think to ask the former slaves to clarify certain words used in the songs, or, moreover, to explain the meanings of the songs. Its a fact that many songs sung by American slaves had hidden or duel meanings. I can't but to wonder if both of these songs had alternative meaning. "Give me a cold of drink water" could have meant a taste of freedom by running to the river. I changed some words from the original transcription, as I heard different words than written. I changed "Red light. Red light roll over" to "regular, regular roll over." I do not see "red lights" being in the slaves world, but I could be wrong. Also changed: "I come when the sun stood yonder." to "I come when the Sir yonder". As far as the "Old Lady Goose" song goes, I think this was an underground rail road song. But, sadly, we will never no for sure. Let me know what meaning (or words), if any, you hear in these songs. #slavesongs #slavelife #blackhistorymonth
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